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The Good and the Bad: Shadow the Hedgehog

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I guess the topic is what the title implies: talking about ShTH's good and bad points. Well, why not start this off with a bit of history? Typical Yacker the 2nd topic style.

Shadow the Hedgehog was a game based on Shadow, who in this game, goes on an adventure to remember his past. In this game, there are three forces trying to defeat/control Shadow: The GUN Commander, Dr. Eggman, and Black Doom. To some extent, each of these characters have a significant impact on Shadow's past. Long story short, that's the story of ShTH.

Then we hit the gameplay. The gameplay is reminiscent of the speed gameplay from Sonic Heroes. However ShTH adds something new to the Sonic series: the usage of guns and other weaponry. The use of weapons is somewhat beneficial to the flow of the game as you can either spend a good chunk of time mashing the jump button, or you can go through enemies with ease while using weapons. In addition to weaponry, ShTH also takes some cues for SA2 and provides vehicles for you to use. While the vehicles may control like crap, for the most part, it's pretty inoffensive as the game never really forces you to use them (well, except for those poisonous river sequences), unlike a certain other game.

Now for the controls. I think the TSS review of ShTH put it nicely: It's like Sonic Heroes on ice. Which essentially means that it's pretty hard to get the hang of it. However, while the controls stink the first time through, if you can get used to it, it's alright, I suppose. How do the guns control/are used? Well, most guns in the game automatically aim at the enemy, while the bazooka type weapons require you to manually aim yourself. The swords for the most part pretty much have you mash the attack button repeatedly. It's pretty cool how you can use a speed limit sign as a weapon though.

Well, I think that's a semi-decent summary(?) of the game.

Personally, I think the game had some pretty good levels like Sky Troops, and some pretty good music, and the occasional good cutscene. However, I dislike using the weapons despite that you kinda have to use them if you want to get through the levels quickly.

Anyway, that's the OP I guess. Thoughts on the topic?

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Good

- Gameplay is alright not as bad as people make it out to be

- Music has some of my favorite tracks in the series

- Everything is optional (hurrr, i hate how you have to use guns!!!)

- Neat twist on the series

Bad

- Game really needs a homing reticule

- Damn and Hell are forced, it's okay to say it. But they really make sure you know they're cursing

- Final Boss was worse than Time eater

- Kill X amount of enemies isn't fun.

Edited by Alice Twilight

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The Good: It's by far the best comedy game of this generation.

*last generation

Meh, I had fun with it. I thought the guns and swords were pretty fun. The missions are a bunch of ass though.

I liked using the chaos powers, It was fun to just blow past sections of a level with Chaos Control.

The story and the writing were extremely out of place.

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the good: Digital circuit is a good stage visual and music wise. and it still somewhat resembles a sonic game that involves speed.

The bad: story is horrible and not sonic and the gameplay is pretty broken. oh and vehicles are pretty bad.

Edited by Sora

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Not liking the game all around, I did like the introduction level... the music and presentation was pretty badass if you ask me. Also, the one thing that bothered me that stood out was out everything was a little TOO BIG. Rings, level structures, items... just too big...

also... lack of watermelon slices

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The game had more than a few problems, but I liked it. However, I admit I may be somewhat biast on that topic because Shadow is my favorite character.

I also think that people can be unfair to it. If you haven't played it, don't say either good or bad things about it. Play it first.

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I'm inclined to cut Shadow the Hedgehog a lot of slack because the basic idea behind it was so ludicrously dumb that the end result would probably have been terrible no matter what it was. And also because I bought it very cheap and went into it expecting a disaster.

It's not all that terrible to play, honestly; it's very, very mediocre, but it's rarely as frustrating as '06 or as boring as Heroes. There are some really nice level aesthetics mixed in with all of the destroyed cities, and the number of levels is fairly impressive for a post-SA2 Sonic game (even if the method for unlocking them is really dumb). The music is mostly pretty decent, and a couple of songs are actually really nice.

I'm also weirdly fond of ShtH's story. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect modern recreation of a classic sci-fi B-movie: it's convoluted, silly and over-the-top, with terrible-looking aliens and awkward dialogue, but everything about it is played completely straight in the best possible way. Someone at SEGA really thought that a magic hedgehog on a motorcycle fighting his alien dad with guns was the coolest thing ever, and that total lack of irony is both endearing and completely hilarious. The B-movie feeling even extends to the direction of the cutscenes, which reaches downright Ed Wood levels at times. I find Heroes' cutscenes embarrassing, and while '06 shares many of Shadow's "qualities", it's often more boring than funny. Shadow is just too ridiculous not to love.

Edited by Octarine

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I've said this before, but some of the levels in Shadow the hedgehog were actually quite well designed. The platforming was pretty decent and there were a few unique ideas like rotating platforms or finding new routes by changing the magma level. I really liked how there were more open stages as well which allowed for great amounts of exploration. The lost impact and Central City were some of my favorite levels because they felt so non-linear. It was a bit frustrating at times when you got lost, and the collect-'em-all missions didn't really help either. But such open levels really are a nice change of pace from the more linear stages we've had in recent games. The levels had a lot more depth and had lots of different routes.

But yeah, as certain games have already proven, good level design alone does not a good game make if the physics and controls are shit. The spin dash in ShTH has no use whatsoever. It doesn't matter whether you spin up or downhill. There's no momentum at all and the controls are so stiff that it doesn't even have a use as an attack. The running controls on the other hand are so loose and slippery that it makes it incredibly easy to run into enemies and pits. And the enemies are everywhere, which wouldn't be such a problem if you didn't need to destroy them in order to advance in the stage which in some cases results in destroying your "allies".There are some pretty bad glitches as well, for example after chaos control, the floor doesn't appear and you just end up floating in the air without any control. Passing through floors and walls is no problem for Shadow either, but it certainly is for the player who is already experiencing enough trouble with the bad controls. >.>

Well, the music was decent but that is to be expected. I did like the story progression though. It was a neat idea, but was ruined of course completely by the terrible plot and writing. As far as guns and vehicles go, there were a few decent ideas but in the end the game would have played just the same without them had they also reduced the amount of enemies. Yeah, if the game played more like SA/SA2, I really could have enjoyed it. As it is now, I have all A-ranks and I did complete the expert mode, but I see no reason to come back to it.

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I found Lethal Highway, Circus Park, and G.U.N Fortress to be pretty fun, and the music for all 3 was great. Other than that... nah. I used to like this more than Heroes, but I played both again recently and I just can't agree with my past self.

The guns actually worked okay though, but the vehicles were beyond terrible. It's hilarious to use the motorbike in Lethal Highway though.

Edited by Semi-colon e

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I've yet to see evidence of terrible writing.

People mention it. But I don't see any examples, step it up people. Back up your complaints without parroting please.

"The doctor's actions and words..." The first time I saw this, I hadn't even encountered Eggman in the entire game yet. Also, Commander blames Shadow for his family's death after he admits he had no family. Some first class writing here folks.

I also find it hilarious how Espio says "Stop it, we can't let Eggman know we're here." while you are fighting Eggman in his Egg Breaker. I'm also a bit confused by Sonic's "We are on our way to the Ark so I guess that means we're going too." line. I'm not sure if that's some kind of odd saying but to me it doesn't make much sense.

And I'll just leave this here just for the heck of it.

[media=]

There are more cases I could mention but I hope this clarifies things enough for you. biggrin.png

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Honestly, I think Shadow the Hedgehog could had worked if it didn't star Shadow and overall had no association with the Sonic franchise. That, or there was no ending in the game that established itself in the canon, and considering the plot altogether, didn't take itself seriously. (At all.) But I still like the game as it is anyway.

The choice to follow a hero/neutral/dark path with the many possible outcomes were pretty cool, and made some neat replay value. In addition I did like some of the levels it had. Also, weapons, which IMO made the game quite fun with their uses of them. I also did like the fact that the minor plot point of Eggman's Shadow Androids introduced in Heroes made a return in the game, I'm hoping they reappear as a central plot point in a future Sonic game. And Chaos Blast is awesome, nuff' said.

On the other I didn't really like the graphics and the overall visual style of the game, IMO the graphics just seemed like a downgrade from that of Sonic Heroes, and the artstyle for everything was just too dark and dull. Also will echo that the game's controls, (some of the) missions, and HA were quite frustrating to use/play through as well. I could end up sinking a lot of time trying to finish looking for something to destroy, or find Shadow blasting off in the air or off the ground into the many bottomless pits the game had.

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I don't get why people defend ShTH with a point like this as if I'm supposed to concede it as a point in its favour. Do people actually think it's entertaining to HA the same damn enemy sometimes for a whole 30 seconds on end instead of emptying an MP5 mag at it for 2? Do people think it's tolerable to give bosses the amount of health they had and expect fruitlessly to get any halfway decent rank just by spamming the jump button? Do people actually think it's possible to make it through Prison Island without using a vehicle, Last Story without Chaos Control, or even get that far without exhausting every possible story outcome first? What kind of reasoning is this supposed to be?

It's a point worth bringing up. Do what you want to do with the game. Want to kill a boss by using the homing attack? Then do so.

Want to kill it with a gun? Why not? Your game. Do what you will with it.

Your argument is flawed

Step it up.

"The doctor's actions and words..." The first time I saw this, I hadn't even encountered Eggman in the entire game yet. Also, Commander blames Shadow for his family's death after he admits he had no family. Some first class writing here folks.

I also find it hilarious how Espio says "Stop it, we can't let Eggman know we're here." while you are fighting Eggman in his Egg Breaker. I'm also a bit confused by Sonic's "We are on our way to the Ark so I guess that means we're going too." line. I'm not sure if that's some kind of odd saying but to me it doesn't make much sense.

There are more cases I could mention but I hope this clarifies things enough for you. biggrin.png

i mean yeah, Sonic has been known for its 10/10 emmy award winning cutscenes right?

I love how people ignore this

and bash Shadow. Edited by Alice Twilight

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Let's see.

The Good:

They seriously improved the engine from Sonic Heroes. No more slippy controls or awkward flippy-floppy jumping, a homing attack that consistantly worked (though was rather slow and unsatisfying), majorly improved triangle jump that was pretty fun to use, and most of all, probably some of the most reliable and satisfying grinding in any Sonic game (I LOVE how fast you can get on long stretches).

I also liked that it was essentially Sonic gameplay, and felt more unified and clear of what it wanted to do than the other 3D Sonic games, even if what it wanted to do was flawed.

I like the soundtrack and general level design (though some stages are a little bland and samey, especially the open-ended ones).

The Bad though:

Boss battles were pretty dull, most simply consisting of finding the best gun, and then finding the quickest way to get Chaos Control so you could just empty your infinite rounds into the boss for about 10 seconds and win.

As Diogenes said, most of what happened in the story doesn't matter whatsoever. The stuff that DOES matter is confusingly spread across various different alignment routes which has caused endless confusion and debate about what in this game is canon and what isn't (I personally see Shadow as a giant collection of "What if Shadow did this", where no story path is canon, but various events we get to witness did happen in some capacity to lead up to the Last Story).

The kill/find all X missions were utter shit. I have no problem with the concept but god, just give us a little leeway (say, defeat 36/40 enemies on the map) so we're not searching endlessly for that last elusive enemy that may not have even SPAWNED because you needed to pass across a certain area, or give us a damn Crazy Taxi arrow for the last few.

Cut-scenes were utterly shit. Poorly written, poorly timed, poorly animated. Sonic Adventure was awkward looking, Sonic Heroes was over the top, but ShTH was just robotic.

I still enjoy Shadow, certainly moreso than Heroes, but yeah it has a LOT of fundamental problems that lead me to have no trouble at all in sympathising with those who find them dealbreakers.

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Good points of Shadow The Hedgehog;

Actually got to see some of Maria besides her death, some of the things she said to Shadow were interesting, like when she said that Shadow loved running down the hallways of the ARK, it shows that he must have been different then.

Kind of interesting that you can use guns and vehicles, and you don't have to.

Bad Points

Maria was a purity-sue.

Acting was bad.

The whole Shadow-is-half-alien thing really rubs me the wrong way and seems like an ass-pull.

Why would Shadow use vehicles? The vehicles are awkward to use in gameplay anyway.

A recurring-cast character using normal guns seems out-of-place in the series, those that do use weapons use fanciful ones, the most mundane Robotnik gets is missile launchers(doesn't like the simplicity of 'mainstream' weaponry I guess), I see this as relatively minor, but it adds.

I don't actually even remember anything about how Shadow's character was handled,grumpy and..that's about it, that's probably a testament to it's uninteresting-ness.

Sonic was annoying AS HELL, both the way he was written and his bad acting, that inflection really really got on my nerves.

Edited by Mysterics

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Good: Its potiential.

Bad: Its execution.

That's to say, the fact that you could find out Shadow's history and choose to be a good or bad guy was really cool. A game focusing on Shadow (and getting the chance to make Sonic your bitch) was, in itself, fun.

But guns, forced cursing, and SEGA wanting to expand their audience by experimenting really drove the game downhill.

Take away the poor GTA-esqueness of the game, remove the cursing, and replace aliens with something less childish, it'd probably been a better of the series failures.

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